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PLAY TIME: Karl Lagerfeld might soon add another accomplishment to his already astounding résumé: playwright. The designer and his muse, Amanda Harlech, have decided to start putting their flare for witty repartee to paper. The play would poke fun at the art world, with a few barbs directed at the fashion folk who orbit it. “I don’t want to become a writer,” Lagerfeld said. “It’s a game, for fun, but I like the idea.”
COCO NUTS: Diminutive pop diva Kylie Minogue tried to avoid as much of the paparazzi crush as possible at Tuesday’s Chanel couture show by hanging out backstage with Karl Lagerfeld — even hanging off his neck for a moment — until minutes before the show began. Still, Minogue had plenty to discuss with the designer, who has agreed to design what she called a “dreamy” dress for her upcoming “Showgirl” tour, which begins in March. “I met with him on Monday — as he was preparing for all this,” she said. “He kept very cool. He’s amazing to be able to do it all.” Minogue added that John Galliano will also whip up a dress for her. On the other side of the aisle, actress Anna Mouglalis said she’s in the early stages of recording an album. But the gravelly voiced beauty wasn’t the only one in the room with musical aspirations. Theodora Richards, rock royalty as Keith Richards’ daughter, said she wanted to become an actress — who can also sing and dance. “It is in my blood,” she quipped. In the meantime, Richards, 19, is keeping busy by guest editing the March issue of French fashion magazine Jalouse.
BOWS AND ARROWS: Good thing Yves Saint Laurent didn’t decide to become a fashion critic in his retirement. Asked if he’s been paying attention to this week’s couture shows, he replied: “Everything I’ve seen is awful.” But he is still a big fan of his longtime collaborator Loulou de la Falaise and joined her Tuesday night to fete her new boutique on Rue Cambon. “I’m always there for her,” he said. And so were all the other tight-knit members of the Saint Laurent tribe, including Pierre Bergé and Betty Catroux. Hors d’oeuvres galore were circling, but there were no takers in this crowd. Saint Laurent had a good reason. “I’m on a diet,” he said.
This story first appeared in the January 26, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
SOMETHING BLUE: Now that Melania Knauss is married off to Donald Trump, Vogue has moved on to its next bride-to-be. Makeup artist Jemma Kidd has been taking in the couture shows this week and is on the lookout for the perfect dress for her June wedding to Arthur, the Earl of Mornington.
VAL GAL: “Nip/Tuck” actress Joely Richardson was eating up the sleek glamour gowns Valentino showed Monday evening. But she added that she loved the volume John Galliano showed at Dior, too, even if she admitted it “may be difficult to pull off on the red carpet.” Richardson said she’s attending the couture “semi-looking” for gowns and also in preparation of a “work-related project,” though she was mum on the details.
HE WANTS TO BE A PART OF IT: Emanuel Ungaro is fashionably late for a couture comeback — semi-couture, that is. Starting Friday, the designer is inviting clients to have a peek at his latest project: reinterpretations of 25 of his couture designs from the past that can be ordered in limited edition and completed within a month or two. Prices range from 2,000 euros or about $2,600 at current exchange, to 20,000 euros, or about $26,000. An Ungaro spokesman said the idea is to limit each style to 10 or 12 pieces and introduce a handful of new styles every few months.
A NICE RING TO IT: Some might think Karl Lagerfeld wears too many rings — or is he on the cusp of a new trend? Ultrachic brewery heiress Daphne Guinness is certainly on to the look, flashing two mittfuls of metals from her second-row perch at Chanel on Tuesday.
SAAB STORY: Elie Saab drew the likes of Ivana Trump and Suzanne Saperstein to a black-tie ball he cohosted with Baccarat on Monday evening. But the Lebanese couturier, who is moving to bigger headquarters in Beirut next month, was itching to talk business. While his guests danced to Middle Eastern tunes, he said he’s got a “secret” project brewing with Mercedes — hmm, a sequined interior, perhaps — and that he’s planning to open a shop in Paris in the next few months.
ROLE REVERSAL: Rick Owens has made an unusual business move. The designer has acquired the license to produce his collections for Revillon, which is owned by Switzerland’s Fibalko. The deal goes against the industry norm, in which designers often license their creations for production to industrial firms. But Michelle Lamy, Owens’ partner and muse, said the deal, which was finalized late last year, has its merits. “It gives Rick more creative control,” she said. To wit: Owens has introduced full-blown jewelry and accessories collections for the venerable furrier, which was founded in 1723.
A DIFFERENT GRIND: Milan Vukmirovic, the former creative director at Jil Sander, has officially switched sides. His first issue as editor in chief of L’Officiel Homme, a new biannual men’s title, hits kiosks in Paris today. He described the 288-page book, with ads from Prada to Yves Saint Laurent, as his “personal take on men’s fashion.” He said an English version is in the cooker and that the book should go quarterly next year. But he also said he misses designing, though he doesn’t miss “having to create pre-collections, 50 bags a season, cruise collections and all that.”
Meanwhile, retailer Majed Al-Sabah can add another title to his résumé: columnist. The owner of the Villa Moda stores in Kuwait, Dubai and Qatar has a new monthly gig at Russian Vogue, sharing his observations as a buyer, talent scout and confidant to many designers. “It’s opinionated, but not too much,” notes editor in chief Aliona Doletskaya. Topics in Al-Sabah’s debut column, in the January issue, range from hot denim brands to up-and-coming architects.
LAST IN TRANSLATION: Becca Cason Thrash may be a Texas-sized Francophile, but don’t expect her to speak any French. In Paris for couture week, the socialite confessed her linguistic challenge to Louis Vuitton honcho Yves Carcelle at a party in her honor Tuesday. “I grew up in Texas, so I speak Spanish,” she demurred. No matter. When she met with the bigwigs at the Louvre, for which she is raising millions via a new U.S. charity, they happily obliged and conducted the meeting in English.
VISION THING: Jean Paul Gaultier, who will show his spring couture collection today, is looking at the world through a new pair of glasses — he has signed a licensing deal to produce eyewear with Italy’s De Rigo. The line, which will be distributed worldwide except in Japan, will be launched in Paris at the Silmo trade event in October.
VUITTON BOUND: Marie-Sabine Leclercq, vice president of communications for Coty Inc. and Lancaster Group Worldwide, will become the new communications director at Louis Vuitton in Paris. She succeeds Mimma Viglezio, who, as reported, recently left the post. Vuitton head honcho Yves Carcelle said that Leclercq will begin work in March.
DOUBLE TAKE: Add photo editor to the list of Calvin Klein’s talents. The designer took on that role for Christopher Makos’ forthcoming book “Exhibitionism,” which features 175 photos. Published by Glitterati and distributed by PowerHouse Books, the book is an up-close-and-personal examination of men, and stemmed from an exhibition staged by Makos in Klein’s Madison Avenue store in 2001. Klein and Makos expect to celebrate their collaboration with Debbie Harry, Todd Oldham, Marc Jacobs, Bradley Bayou, Tom Ford, Susan Sarandon, Jane Holzer, Ross Bleckner and Bruce Weber at a Thursday-night bash at Look.
NEW TO CHELSEA: Nicole Farhi is taking her Café 202 concept to downtown New York this spring. The French Connection-backed designer has secured a 4,575-square-foot space in Chelsea Market for the boutique and restaurant hybrid, which has proved to be a hit in London. Newmark Retail confirmed Tuesday that Café 202 has lined up a lease for the space at 75 Ninth Avenue, which includes windows overlooking Ninth Avenue and an additional 3,000 square feet in the basement.
MOORE THANKS: Mandy Moore paid a visit to Simply Chic, the New York showroom of her T-shirt collection, Mblem. The reason for the visit? Just to say thanks. “Can I be cheesy just for a minute?” Moore asked the staff of Simply Chic. “I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you all so much for working so hard.” Dressed in jeans and a T, Moore browsed the Mblem racks and occasionally blurted, “I love this orange!” and “I love how this one turned out!” Moore was in town for the snowy weekend and made it a priority to stop by the showroom before heading back to Los Angeles. “It was nice to be here for the blizzard,” she said. “We don’t really have seasonal changes in L.A.”
CALM IN THE STORM: Intrepid fans of Carolina Herrera made their way to Bergdorf Goodman Saturday afternoon to have the designer sign her book, “Carolina Herrera: Portrait of a Fashion Icon.” The turnout surprised the designer, who wondered before the event if it would be worth the trip. During the heart of the storm, 100-plus people lined up for the meet-and-greet. But most were out-of-towners. “I think we had one New Yorker. They were mostly Europeans,” a Carolina Herrera spokesman said.
FAKERS: Marc Bouwer isn’t afraid to let the fur fly, as long as it’s faux. Through a new deal with Tissavel USA, the eveningwear designer has created Marc Bouwer Unreal, a fake-fur collection. His animal-friendly chubbies, swing jackets, wraps, stoles and accessories will be shown at his Feb. 9 runway show at Cipriani’s 23rd Street in what used to be the Toy Building.